Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said the Trincomalee oil tank farm will be developed jointly by Sri Lanka and India for the mutual benefit of both countries.
He also said that excavation work will begin on available gas reserves in Mannar.
“The gas reserves are sufficient to operate a 1,000 MW power plant for 30 years”, the Minister told Wednesday’s ceremony to hand over the keys of 125 housing units built by Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) to families displaced by the laying of the proposed oil pipeline connecting Kolonnawa to the Colombo port.
The event was held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Continuing, the Minister said that three more new oil refineries will be built in Sapugaskanda, Trincomalee and Hambantota.
“Though we turn to the world for financial assistance, Sri Lanka, as a country, has enormous natural resources, which can be utilized for the country’s prosperity, he remarked.
In his welcome address, CPSTL Chairman/MD Uvais Mohamed, said the proposed pipeline will be installed by CPSTL engineers at the earliest possible and at minimum cost.
The proposed initiative is on par with the vision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make use of local engineering expertise in national development projects, he stressed.
“We need to develop our country on a firm foundation of unity, amity and co-existence within a united Sri Lanka”, Chairman Mohamed said.
The new housing units were constructed by the CPSTL at a cost of Rs. 4 million each. Though the 125 families which received the houses were squatters, they had lived within the seven kilometer stretch of the proposed pipeline project for more than 35 years.
Despite the legal option of evicting the squatters, the CPSTL adopted a humanitarian approach to resolve the issue by building new housing units for them at a time struggle and strife characterize everyday life.
Source : Island